One of the reasons you became a Community Group Leader is because you love people. As a shepherd, you help lead and feed your group through some of the highest highs and lowest lows. In the most ideal circumstances, that’s a tough role, and in today’s world of social distancing, it can be even more challenging. So, how do you truly share life with your group when you can’t physically be together? Here are a few ideas to help you stay connected.
Gather with your group online every week. Chances are good that you’ve already used an app like FaceTime or Facebook Video Messenger to video chat with distant friends of family members. Why not use that same kind of technology to meet with your Community Group each week? With a few simple steps, your group can be up and running online in just a few minutes. Meeting online takes some getting used to, and it’s obviously different than being together physically, but the benefits far outweigh the burdens. In a time when we’re not able to be with each other, having a face-to-face online conversation might be just the encouragement you and your group need each week.
Stop, drop, and roll. Keeping our distance means we get to be creative in connecting with each other! Does your group usually eat a meal together each week? One group leader couple dropped off pre-packaged meals at each of their Community Group members’ homes and then they met online while they all ate dinner separately that evening! Another group leader took a “Quarantine Care Package” to each members’ home and left it by the front door. Another set of leaders found out about a specific need in their group, ordered the necessary items online, and had them delivered to their group members’ home the next day. Connecting with your group can be simple – stop what you’re doing, drop by a members’ home with a special gift, and roll on to the next adventure!
Ask the right questions. The questions we ask often reveal what we truly care about. In a time when human interaction is at a premium, we can provide genuine hope and encouragement for people in the way we listen to them. So, how is your group really doing? Do you know? Here are a few questions you can ask people this week as you check in with them:
- What would you say are the biggest challenges you are currently dealing with?
- What have you been doing, so far, to try to find help in addressing those issues?
- As Community Group Leaders, what can we do to encourage you – and how can we best pray for you?
- How are you doing relationally with the Lord, and with your family, during these days of increased stress?
- What are some ways God has reminded you that He cares for you during the last several days?
These are unique days for sure. Much of the what we once relied on has been removed, or at least limited. The Church of Jesus Christ, however, continues to be strengthened and built up. Jesus Himself said, “…I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). In uncertain times, that’s something to be sure of. Let’s be the church when we’re not at church.